The use of oral corticosteroids (OCS) in asthma, should be considered a treatment failure. The majority of adults with asthma have used OCSs more than twice in a year.  With acute respiratory complaints being such a large portion of Urgent Care visits, the need to understanding asthma treatment is essential to Urgent Care (UC) medicine. 

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Reframing Rescue Therapy to Help Prevent Asthma Exacerbations


Short Term Treatments  

PCP Referral  




Long Term Management

Specialist Referral


Though prescribers may find it difficult to follow recommended best practices when navigating insurance coverage and cost, it is understood that at every opportunity the UC clinician will attempt to do so and, if unable, attempt to replace with the most appropriate alternative.

Patient education is a component to treatment both acutely and as part of a long term care solution.  Patient’s may have come to expect treatment failure as routine, but by taking the time to inform and advise patients, these expectations can be adjusted and exacerbations accounted for at home 

A key component to any Urgent Care visit for asthma is the continuity of care with patient’s primary care provider or pulmonary specialist.  Checkout processes should be considered that would initiate a notification to patient’s chosen provider of treatment at UC and need for a follow-up visit.  

Effective treatment for asthma requires detailed patient education, which should be documented in the medical record and should include the following: 

  • peak flow meter 
  • patient goals 
  • MDI education 
  • subsets of population may require a spacer 
  • respiratory exercises 
  • use of asthma/allergy adjuncts
  • trigger exposure reduction